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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Set operations in semantic data models

  • Author(s): Rundensteiner, Elke A.
  • Bic, Lubomir
  • et al.

Class creation by set operations has largely been ignored in the literature. Precise semantics of set operations on complex objects require a clear distinction between the dual notions of a set and a type, both of which are present in a class. Our paper fills this gap by presenting a framework for executing set-theoretic operations on the class construct. The proposed set operations determine both the type description of the derived class as well as its set membership. For the former, we develop inheritance rules for property characteristics such as single- versus multi-valued and required versus optional. For the later, we borrow the object identity concept from data modeling research. Our framework allows for property inheritance among classes that are not necessarily is-a related.

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